Feature walls that make a stunning design statement

This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a long time, and a design project has come my way where I am looking at feature walls, so it feels like the perfect time to talk about what I think of this subject.

A lovely lady contacted me on Instagram and asked me to help design her master bedroom, which I’m thrilled about! I haven’t explicitly mentioned this on my blog before, but if you do follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a post or two where I have mentioned that prior to starting a family, I had an interior design business and only closed it to raise my kids. Now that they aren’t totally hanging off me 24/7, it’s fantastic to be able to get back to it a little via my online design service (I’ll add more details about this on my website soon).

For the design, when I suggested the idea of a feature wall, she replied “But aren’t feature walls a bit passé?” I know exactly what she was thinking of, we’ve seen too many of those uninspiring feature walls, and I’m really glad that she doesn’t care for them!

Yawn. How NOT to do a feature wall.

Or even worse…

Eek, please no 🙈

The above 2 examples are boring and lacklustre, lacking any creativity. But good feature walls that are well considered as a key part of the scheme will always have a place in interior design. In fact, they can raise the design of a room from ordinary to exciting. If you’re considering a subtle or small-print wallpaper for a feature wall, it’ll look a lot better if you have it on all the walls of the room instead of on one wall. Subtle doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to feature walls. They should be dramatic and arresting. Check out these swoonworthy spaces with feature walls that really elevate the design. I’ve categorised them into Paint, Bricks, Wood, Tiles, Mirrors and Wallpaper, which are some of the various ways you can create a feature wall.

PAINT

Paint is the easiest way to add a feature wall, but be sure to use a colour that is bold yet gels beautifully with the rest of the design and palette.


One dark feature wall is great for a bedroom where you want to add mood and drama but also want to retain lightness in the room. The pink and dark blue palette runs throughout this bedroom, so the colour on the accent wall doesn’t feel random. Image: Jacqui Moore

Pink and olive green bedroom with a black feature wall
The rest of this room is painted white so the room retains an airy feel while the black feature wall makes the olive velvet headboard, pink textiles and gold details pop beautifully. Image: Alexander James for Livingetc November 2017


Painting the recess in a gorgeous deep soothing colour draws your eye to this feature in the room, adds depth and visual interest, and works beautifully with the natural tones and textures. Image: Philippe Harden, via Remodelista

Wall of built in shelves painted in a dark colour
A wall of built-ins painted dark is a gorgeous way to add a strong colour to a room and draws attention to the beautifully styled shelves. Image: ABD Studio


Imagine the back wall in white… this room just wouldn’t look as cosy and inviting as it does now with the blue-grey paint which works so well with the rest of the furnishings in the room. Image: Debstudio

BRICK

Ah, we all love a brick wall, don’t we? It always makes a gorgeous design statement.

Exposed brick in loft bedroom
The exposed brick wall is a stunning feature in this loft bedroom. Image: Making Spaces


Exposing the brick on this part of the wall beautifully zones the dining area. Image: Jurnal de Design Interior

Dining area with exposed brick wall
The exposed brick wall creates a warm, textural and characterful feature wall in this bright modern dining area. Image: Renoguide

Staircase with brick accent wall
A gorgeous juxtaposition: a sleek modern staircase with a rustic brick accent wall. Image: Renoguide

Black painted brick feature wall
The black painted brick wall is dramatic and draws your eye to the graphic art. Image: Maxa Design

WOOD

Feature fire surround made with wood planks
In the absence of a chimney breast, wood planks have been used to create a fire surround – such a gorgeous feature! Image: JT Collings


The wood clad wall gives this bathroom a spa like feel. Image: Sköna hem


Dark painted wood panelling defines this home office nook. Image: from Australian House & Garden June 2016

Dark blue painted panelled wall behind armchairs, backdrop to art gallery
The feature wall has been chosen as not the sofa wall, but the art wall, and the deep blue painted wooden panelling makes a beautiful backdrop to the art and beautiful coral armchairs. Image: The Design Files

TILES

Black herringbone tile feature wall in shower
A feature wall in a bathroom: this shower wall in black marble herringbone tiles looks stunning and makes the gold hardware look even more amazing. Image: Ali Budd Interiors

Feature geometric tile in bathroom
The stunning geometric tiles demand attention as you walk into the bathroom and highlight the brilliant copper pipe hardware. Image: Beautiful Homes In The North

Making a feature of the wooden vanity using dark tiles as a backdrop
A dark-tiled wall draws attention to the gorgeous wooden vanity. Image: The Room Edit

MIRRORS

Smoked mirrors make a glamorous feature in this sultry hallway
Large smoked mirrors create a glamorous feature in this sultry hallway. Image: Daniel Hopwood


A huge foxed mirror spans the wall behind the bath. Image: Joanna Goodman


Mirror on mirror. Ok, I don’t care to check myself out while I’m having a soak so I know this is not for everyone but it’s fabulous for anyone who loves this idea. Image: David Hicks

WALLPAPER


The stunning large-scale tropical Sian Zeng wallpaper looks amazing on the wall behind the sofa and ties in so well with the gorgeous colour palette and glamorous style of the room. Image: Swoon Worthy

Nursery with feature wallpapered wall
A removable wallpaper is a fantastic idea for a nursery where the decor may need to change in a few years. This moody floral pattern from Rocky Mountain Decals is absolutely stunning as a feature and sets the colours for the rest of the nursery design. Image: Tarina Lyell

Statement wallpaper - feature wall in bedroom
Totally love this 😍. The Calico Night wallpaper is crazy bold and would overpower a whole room, but used as a feature behind the bed, it is STUNNING. Note how the wallpaper has been ‘framed’ with a border along the edges of the wall – brilliant! Image: interior design by Daniel Hopwood, featured in Livingetc February 2018

Wallpapered false wall in bedroom frames the bed
The false wall which separates the bed from the dressing area beyond has been wallpapered in Cole & Son’s Nuvolette wallpaper which beautifully frames the bed, creating a large headboard effect. Image: TFAD

Luxe bedroom with a feature wallpapered wall behind bed
Here is the same idea again: a false wall separates the bed from the dressing area, and wallpapering it makes it feel like a secondary headboard of sorts, making the bed feel really special. Image: Daniel Hopwood

Having seen these stunning spaces, what would you say now to feature walls? Yay or nay? 🙂


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10 Comments

  1. February 26, 2018 / 8:28 am

    Ahh thank you so much for including my living room alongside so much amazing inspiration! I particularly love the idea of framing wallpaper behind a headboard (Daniel Hopwood is clearly a master at this). I still love a feature wall but as you said – it has to be done well and there have been way too many terrible executions over the years that it’s understandable it would put people off! I think your client is in very good hands 😉 Can’t wait to see what you do! xxx

    • Meera
      February 26, 2018 / 8:26 pm

      You’re so welcome Kimberly, I love your living room! I agree no one does feature walls better than Daniel Hopwood. Framing the wallpaper is brilliant, and this is what I’m going to pitch to my client. Thank you for the vote of confidence 🙂 xxx

  2. February 27, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    I think it’s got to be the tropical print for me!

    • Meera
      March 2, 2018 / 2:45 pm

      It’s a stunning design for a space that can pull it off! xx

  3. February 27, 2018 / 6:30 pm

    I’m still a fan of the feature wall. I have Prism in my living room as you know and that’s not one for four walls in a small room but I love it on the one wall. Lovely post

    • Meera
      March 2, 2018 / 2:47 pm

      Thank you Vicki, glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, feature walls are a great design tool, and a fantastic way to incorporate a bold paint colour or wallpaper that would otherwise possibly be too much on all the walls of a room. xx

  4. March 5, 2018 / 10:12 pm

    Having just had a wall of wallpaper hung in our spare room, I’m TOTALLY on board with ‘feature walls’…I’m just not sure I’d ever call it one 😉 Thanks so much for linking up to #HomeEtc

    • Meera
      March 12, 2018 / 8:46 pm

      Haha I know what you mean, they’ve got a bit of a bad rep because of all the bad feature walls we’ve seen. But your wallpapered wall, which I’ve just seen on instagram, is beautifully bold and fabulous! xx

  5. March 13, 2018 / 11:32 pm

    Sometimes a room just needs a wall to be different. Otherwise it’s boring. Thank you for the inspiration, Meera. I’m going to have nightmares after seen that aubergine accent chimney breast… haha

    • Meera
      March 14, 2018 / 9:28 pm

      Haha yes that one is so bad and sadly there have been too many like it that have given feature walls a bad rep. But as you say, sometimes a room needs a little something special (like a feature wall) to take it to an extraordinary level.

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